At 5:36 last night, my mom and I were eating supper. We were standing with our plates laughing while I put soy sauce onto my mashed potatoes. I don't really know what he was doing at that time, I suppose I'll never really know.
We were watching America's got Talent, just mom and me. My brothers and dad went on a trip, my brothers were working in the cities and dad was fishing down in southern Minnesota.
We were supposed to be learning who got into the top 10 or something like that when my dad called. I stayed by the TV but soon I heard it. My mom was sobbing and heaving with tears. Something like, "I understand," escaped her lips. At first I thought that my dad had been hurt as my heart rushed and almost felt like it would burst out of my chest. Soon I remembered that it was my dad who had called. It was then that I knew one of my brothers was dead.
She didn't say anything to me for a long time, she just talked on the phone with my dad while trying not to cry anymore. I've never paid so much attention to the fact that my heart was beating until that moment. At some point I started to cry, even though I didn't know what was really going on. When she finally hung up I waited for her to say it, to tell me my brother was gone.
"Janie's brother DJ died in a car accident tonight." The shock was amazingly sickening and unexpected. Janie was my friend. Or at least she was my friend for most of my childhood; he brother was my own brothers' friend. Nearly every Sunday we played with dolls in her bunk bed. Later on Janie leant me all her Twilight books; apparently she was going to marry Edward Cullen before she met her true love Mike. We used to watch movies together; we even had a five year long battle over a small fact of Star Wars. She dated my brother Tommy once a long time ago. I can even recall faint memories of her brother in my fuzzy childhood mind. Can you believe that at the moment I found out I was relieved? How sick is that? I was relieved that this girl that I had known since elementary school's brother was dead because my own were still fine. I. Was. Relieved. I didn't even cry when my mom gave me a hug. Not until the truth finally sunk in when the parents of the kid I babysit for called to ask me if I could take care of their child the next night. I couldn't answer the phone, I was sobbing too hard. Mom and I held each other and cried for what felt like an eternity. But all the while, I knew I wasn't as sad as I should be because my brothers were safe. "It's okay, it's someone else's brother, yours are fine." How could I possibly be thinking that? It's okay because my friend's brother and my brothers' friend was dead? The thought of how awful I was made me cry even harder. I didn't want to hold onto my mom anymoe, not with such sick thoughts, but she wouldn't let go. The need to blow my nose was the only thing that could make my mom give in and stop clutching me. She kept her hands in my hair, "I'm grieving for another mother's loss," she cried into my hair, "Babies aren't supposed to die before their parents." He wasn't a baby, but I understood. Mom didn't want to let go of me, because she was suddenly reminded that she might lose me at any time, and I'm still her baby no matter how old I get. All I really wanted to do was drive down to the cities and give my older brothers giant hugs and kiss them, even though they hate it. Soon after mom tried to find out more info about what had happened. All we knew is that it had to have happened after 4:30 because that was when my mom got off work in the ER.
After an hour or so mom gave up searching. All we wanted to do was pretend like things were okay, that things were normal. She looked up the winners of America's got Talent. I watched Toddlers and Tiaras in the hope something as stupid and mindless as that would help me stop thinking. I even, much to my own guilt, laughed a little. I called the family I help out back and managed to tell them I could babysit without even alerting them to the fact that I was crying throughout the entire conversation. Sometime later I went on facebook to write on Janie's wall that I was praying for her and her family. Turns out, my friend Brian's son was born last night, not even an hour after DJ had died. His name is Duncan. The irony of life will never escape me.
Author's Note: Last night all of this actually did happen. I may have changed the names but other than that this is 100% fact. Maybe I'm just using this as some sort of coping mechanism, who cares really. Please pray for their family, and if you don't pray, please just think of them if you get the chance.